A U.S. senator is asking for some straight answers about the extent governments have been able to spy on Americans through their smartphones.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon recently wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland to kick free information Apple and Google have said the federal government is keeping under wraps.
Wyden indicated that he had particular concern over information shared with foreign governments.
A report in The Washington Post said that based on a review of court records, searching what are known as push notifications in order to develop a map of a targeted individual’s contacts, was used in the investigations of participants in the protests of Jan. 6, 2021, and the Capitol incursion that followed.
The Post noted that every push notification that tells a user a friend contacted them creates what is called a token. Obtaining information in the tokens allows investigators to determine who contacted the user.
“In the spring of 2022, my office received a tip that government agencies in foreign countries were demanding smartphone “push” notification records from Google and Apple. My staff have been investigating this tip for the past year,